Growing up is never easy. Just ask Terry Grant. His father died while he was in high school, and he grew up in a family with 13 siblings in Lumberton, (Miss.). With his mother in Florida, he ended up living in Lumberton with his older sister Michelle. With his high school football coach Teddy Dyess behind him, Grant persevered and did what he had to do to make the grade, on and off the field.
Now Grant is playing for one of the most storied college football teams in the nation, Alabama’s Crimson Tide.
Terry Grant has the tools to succeed and become a star, but it’s not going to be easy. There will be bumps in the road, but by looking at Terry’s past it looks as if he’ll just juke right by them and shake off another tackle.
Before coming to the Capstone, Grant had scholarship offers from many other top schools, but in the end he chose Alabama.
“Alabama wasn’t too far away from home, and it wasn’t too close,” Grant said. “It was kind of like the perfect place to be.”
During last season’s Vanderbilt football game, Grant suffered a shoulder injury that required surgery. Before the injury, Grant had played in only three games, mainly returning kick-offs and making two rushes in the Louisiana-Monroe game.
However, NCAA rules state that, “A player may receive a medical hardship (redshirt) if the season-ending injury occurs in the first half of the season, and he has not participated in more than 20 percent of contests.”
Alabama played 12 games in 2006, and 20 percent of 12 games is two and 4/10ths of a game. Since there hasn’t been a fourth of a game played in college yet, the number of games is rounded up to three. This being the case, Grant was eligible to apply for a medical redshirt.
Now entering the 2007 season as a redshirt freshman with four years of eligibility left to show Crimson Tide fans and NFL scouts just how good this little guy from Lumberton, (Miss.) really is.
Fast forward to last Saturday, and you’ll see an eager young man out there on the gridiron, rushing past Catamounts and making it look easy.
When asked about Grant, tight end Nick Walker responded, “I feel like he's going to break a lot of records up here. It's just amazing the things he can do with the ball. His quickness and his speed--it’s just unbelievable. I see a little bit of Barry Sanders in him.”
Those are strong words for a guy who has only taken a significant amount of snaps in just one game thus far, even though those snaps amounted to 134 rushing yards and three touchdowns.
Coach Saban on Wednesday addressed whether or not Grant might take part in some positions on special teams.
“We want him to be consistently healthy and consistently good, and doing the things he can do to contribute to our offense because he is a playmaker. We feel like we have enough players in other places, that they deserve an opportunity as well whether its kick-off return or punt return," Saban said.
When not juking and spinning past defenders, Grant is hitting the books for class. In addition to a football star in high school, and averaging an unfathomable 11 yards per carry his senior year, Grant was a member of the National Honor Society and graduated from Lumberton with honors.
He did the work on and off the field and that separates him from a lot of the players out there. His high school coach Teddy Dyess commented, “Academics did not come easy for him, but he set a goal to separate himself. He busted his butt as far as tutoring and staying after school.”
Grant plans to major in criminal justice here at the University. If his rushing ability isn’t enough to convince you of just how special this young man is, then his grades will.
“He a quiet person off the field," says Nick Walker.
He sure isn’t keeping Tuscaloosa quiet though. If he stays healthy he definitely has a shot at breaking some of those records set by Kenneth Darby and others. With Coach Saban here, the recruits keep coming in and the offensive line is looking good, especially after Tyler Love joins next year.
The future is bright for Terry Grant. And whether its criminal justice or in the NFL, he will be a joy to watch. Just sit back and enjoy the next four years, they could be some of the best since the Gene Stallings era, and Terry Grant plans to be an integral part of it.